Trivia: Trading Places

  • Actor Allusion: When Louis is arrested, one of the cops individually inspects each of his possessions, states what it is aloud, and then places it in a cardboard box. The cop is played by Frank Oz, who did the exact opposite (taking items out of the box and returning them to the protagonist) in The Blues Brothers.
  • Career Resurrection: The film completely resurrected the 75-year-old Don Ameche's film career, which had essentially ended in 1949. He had only appeared in five films in the interim with the last one being in 1970. He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his next film Cocoon and worked steadily until a month before his death in 1993.
  • Development Gag: Former Nixon aide and Watergate felon G. Gordon Liddy was approached to play the part of Clarence Beeks. In the movie, Beeks is shown reading Liddy's autobiography Will on the train.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Several, but most notably — "Hey, is that US Senator Al Franken as the pot-smoking baggage handler?"
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The cop who busts Louis for PCP possession is Bert and Grover and Yoda and Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy.
  • Playing Against Type: Before this, Jamie Lee Curtis mostly played the Final Girl in slasher movies, and therefore the good wholesome character. She deliberately took the role to break away from this type of casting.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • The plan at the end would only work in the days before computer trading.
    • Louis boasts that his watch is waterproof to three atmospheres. Nowadays watches can be waterproofed to 50 atm.
  • Throw It In: When Randolph tosses Mortimer's money clip back, Don Ameche bounces it back and forth a couple of times before catching it.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The shots of the World Trade Center (including a ground-perspective shot of how tall the towers were) cast a bit of a shadow on an otherwise fresh, entertaining comedy.
  • What Could Have Been: The movie was originally written as a Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder vehicle, but when Pryor dropped out and Eddie Murphy signed on, he asked that Gene Wilder be replaced, because he didn't want people thinking he was trying to be another Pryor.